Manchester United FC, Manchester City FC battle for spot in top-four

"We think he is in fabulous hands and he needs to recover from the injury and prepare himself mentally for the next step".

They are on a bit of a roll but Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury has been a setback.

Speculation regarding the Spanish international's future aside, De Gea is still at Old Trafford - and while he is still there, he is still number one.

With Rojo is out and Jones and Smalling unavailable available to play, United aren't left with too many other alternative options to pair alongside Bailly or Blind, but in Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Mourinho has two youngsters who already possess fairly high profiles among the club's fans.

Player ratingsManchester City: Claudio Bravo 5, Pablo Zabaleta 6, Nicolas Otamendi 6, Vincent Kompany 7, Aleksandar Kolarov 6, Fernandinho 6, Yaya Tour 8, Raheem Sterling 7, Kevin de Bruyne 6, Leroy Sane 6, Sergio Aguero 6.

The Spain worldwide was forced off after just 23 minutes of last Sunday's FA Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal with a hamstring injury, having been hit hard by tackle from Gabriel Paulista moments earlier.

City took 19 shots to United's three - Claudio Bravo only had to make one save before leaving with an injury - and Kompany said the hosts were never in danger, though he lamented not being able to find a victor.

"But he did not say much, really".

"It means nothing. If we finish fifth and they finish sixth and we are above them, it means nothing", said Mourinho.

He might just have the edge this time round, with United having finally reeled in the top four after a 23-match unbeaten run in the league dating back to a 4-0 loss at Chelsea on October 23.

Guardiola's reputation as the world's best coach has taken a serious hit during his first season in English football.

We have to admit we've seen better games than this one.

United have struggled for fluency this season, drawing no fewer than 12 games, and spent four months grimly locked in sixth place in the table. United will be the slight underdog in this match - in addition to being away from home and missing top players, they lost the first meeting between these two teams.

A win on Thursday would ensure Pep Guardiola's side surpass last season's final tally of 66 points.

While that will be a disappointment to United, it's added in the report that Mourinho is keen to sign Raphael Varane, with whom he has previously worked at Real and helped during the early stages of his career.

Mourinho said it would be "naive" for any rival to think United will be unduly diminished by their injuries and Guardiola concurred.

Seven of the eight red cards in Premier League Manchester derby matches have been given to Manchester United.

Manchester City is up against Manchester United in Premier League matchup today.

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